Halloween is tonight, but did you ever wonder how witches became such a fear in the minds of people
throughout the centuries? Here to tell us about an often misunderstood concept on the first witch in
literature is author AK Patch
1. What do you have for us AK?
We may be driven by love and other positive sentiments, but it’s also our nature to be also driven by
fear of what we don’t understand, as well loss of control of situations, or the unpredictable environment
The Supernatural still scares us today. In the ancient world, mysticism ruled until science became a
dominant force in explaining nature. One of the great works of literature, The Odyssey, is chock full of
life lessons, but also that which we fear: monsters, witches, the uncontrollable, even ourselves.
2. So, who is the original witch?
Her name is Circe. No wonder the author of GAME OF THRONES picked that name for the diabolical
queen of Westeros. She is one the challenges the sea-tossed explorer, Odysseus, encounters on his
voyage home. She commands an island from which men never return. But here is a different take on
her: In the Odyssey she is really a beautiful goddess, using her powers to rule her island.
In the distant past, women ruled society with priestesses and earth goddesses. They understood the
seasons, planting, agriculture, cycles of the moon. While men were out hunting, women brought up the
children, who named after the mother, not the father. This culture was overtaken by nomadic peoples
from the east with their sky and thunder men gods.
The Earth goddess societies were conquered, the wealth passed from father to son now, and the
symbolism of fertility in these female-ruled religions, the snake, became forever a symbol of evil.
Circe is a powerful witch, a representation of a woman in charge, and can cast her spell on men who
can’t resist her, to their doom.
3. What did she do to Odysseus and his men on her island?
He sent some of his men to her house to explore. She used some of main powers we recognize with
1. She used a potent to cloud their minds and will.
2. She cast a spell on them
3. She used a wand.
4. She can change victims into animals- the men were turned into pigs- is this rather fitting?
5. She can use sex as a lure
4. What happened to Odysseus?
One of his men didn’t drink the potent and warned him. On the way, the messenger god, Hermes,
warned him of what she might do. I.e. (We need male gods to save us from women’s powers). He’s able
to ward of her charms and her manipulation. He gets men back and he’s off to another misadventure.
Circe is not a witch, but a goddess with powers that men feared. Over time, this concept resulted in the
deaths of many women who were feared in concert with the devil. I lived in Salem, Mass. (quick story)
5. PASSAGE AT DELPHI- I have a character, a brutal warlord from the ancient world who is wronged
by my modern -day professor. He considers her a sorceress, a witch, and vows to end her days,
no matter what it takes him, even to our time. Sets up great drama in my story.